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Tags North Korea incidents , Otto Warmbier , US-North Korea relations

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Old 27th June 2017, 01:38 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
*If* I were invited, I'd just throw up a middle finger. I find their regime disgusting, and I'll gladly insult them in public.

'kin A!
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Old 1st July 2017, 06:40 AM   #202
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no contact with the Z society

According to Mr. Warmbier's confession, his rewards were less than that received by the Z society (a secret society at UVa with an interest in philanthropy) or the Friendship United Methodist Church. IIUC both were supposedly paid by the CIA. "A Z Society member told CNN that the society had never had any contact with Warmbier and that he had never been approached to be a member." link.

The mother of a friend of Mr. Warmbier's was said to be a deaconess at this church. I checked the church's website and found no one identified as a deacon or deaconess on the staff there.
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Old 1st July 2017, 07:06 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
I'm confused.

Why was this guy in North Korea to begin with? We know that that horrible government, why even try for it?

It's a great bar story.
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Old 3rd July 2017, 05:42 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
It's a great bar story.
No it was for his new youtube channel on extreme vacations, so it is ok to hold him in contempt and laugh at his death.
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Old 3rd July 2017, 07:09 AM   #205
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next stop China

Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
I'm confused.

Why was this guy in North Korea to begin with? We know that that horrible government, why even try for it?
IIUC he was going to China next, possibly Hong Kong. He was a finance and commerce major, and he might have been thinking of his future professional life. His father made some passing remarks about his reasons, but I don't think he delved into it much (I cannot find a link ATM). BTW I found this Time article helpful in understanding the diplomatic situation.
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Old 3rd July 2017, 08:02 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
North Korea just murdered an American citizen. President Trump should not -- and will not -- let this stand. We must go to war ASAP.
The flip side is if we don't want war, we must ignore or downplay these tragedies?

Isn't there a lot of room between these extremes? Or is it impossible to criticize a foreign power without pushing for war with them?

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Old 3rd July 2017, 08:10 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
The flip side is if we don't want war, we must ignore or downplay these tragedies?

Isn't there a lot of room between these extremes? Or is it impossible to criticize a foreign power without pushing for war with them?
We are at war with north korea, we have been for more than 60 years. The armistice is not a peace treaty after all.

With regard to north korea we have no leverage other than war, hell it seems even the Chinese have little or no leverage with them. War is really the only thing that will have any effect.
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Old 3rd July 2017, 09:42 AM   #208
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there may be another alternative

"North Korea wants to attract ten times as many tourists to the country in just two years, taking the total to a million visitors." Daily Telegraph
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Old 3rd July 2017, 09:49 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
We are at war with north korea, we have been for more than 60 years. The armistice is not a peace treaty after all.
I'm pretty sure Cain was referring to the renewal of violence with North Korea, and not the legal technicality.

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
With regard to north korea we have no leverage other than war, hell it seems even the Chinese have little or no leverage with them. War is really the only thing that will have any effect.
It seems like, given the state of their economy, that a sack of potatoes and a few bags of rice would have leverage.

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Old 3rd July 2017, 10:22 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
It seems like, given the state of their economy, that a sack of potatoes and a few bags of rice would have leverage.

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Not with the leadership. They get their mercedes limo's by paying hard cash for them.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...sanctions.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/money/20...ea-makes-money
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Old 3rd July 2017, 12:56 PM   #211
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travel ban

Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I'm pretty sure Cain was referring to the renewal of violence with North Korea, and not the legal technicality.



It seems like, given the state of their economy, that a sack of potatoes and a few bags of rice would have leverage.

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The US could ban travel there. I am not sure whether this would be a good idea or not; international diplomacy is not my forte.
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Old 4th July 2017, 04:24 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I'm pretty sure Cain was referring to the renewal of violence with North Korea, and not the legal technicality.
I'm pretty sure Cain was posting with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
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Old 4th July 2017, 05:00 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
No it was for his new youtube channel on extreme vacations, so it is ok to hold him in contempt and laugh at his death.
Is that an accusation?


It's not a heinous crime to point out that sometimes, if one does dangerous things, the danger materialises.
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Old 4th July 2017, 06:59 AM   #214
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What are the odds?

Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
It's not a heinous crime to point out that sometimes, if one does dangerous things, the danger materialises.
His decision to go to NK looks foolish in retrospect; however, I have given my reasons upthread for not believing that Mr. Warmbier broke any laws. Eight hundred to a thousand Americans go to North Korea as tourists every year, most of them without incident. On the other hand for every ten people who summit Mount Everest, one person dies.
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Old 4th July 2017, 07:15 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
His decision to go to NK looks foolish in retrospect; however, I have given my reasons upthread for not believing that Mr. Warmbier broke any laws. Eight hundred to a thousand Americans go to North Korea as tourists every year, most of them without incident. On the other hand for every ten people who summit Mount Everest, one person dies.
I don't think the odds are relevant.
You'd have a hard time arguing that going to North Korea is not dangerous.
Certainly your mom wouldn't want you to go.
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Old 5th July 2017, 03:28 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Is that an accusation?


It's not a heinous crime to point out that sometimes, if one does dangerous things, the danger materialises.
I am comparing the general reactions of this death to the one of the guy trying to use paper to stop a bullet. No one seemed to find laughing over his death to be distasteful, while many in this thread seemed to think that blaming the dead man here was wrong.

I was trying to figure out when it is ok to laugh at someones death.
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Old 5th July 2017, 05:58 AM   #217
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
I am comparing the general reactions of this death to the one of the guy trying to use paper to stop a bullet. No one seemed to find laughing over his death to be distasteful, while many in this thread seemed to think that blaming the dead man here was wrong.

I was trying to figure out when it is ok to laugh at someones death.
I don't really think the guy who thought the book would stop the bullet is funny, but his death was entirely his own doing (and his girlfriend) whereas Otto's death was his own stupidity plus the insanity of the North Korean regime. He was a victim.

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Old 5th July 2017, 06:30 AM   #218
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I thought calling Mr. Warmbier a dick was a bit much.* I didn't laugh about the guy who got shot.
*EDT There is no persuasive evidence whatsoever that he committed a crime. Even the crime claimed by North Korea was only that he took down the banner, not that he had the banner when he was leaving the country.
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Old 5th July 2017, 06:36 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
I am comparing the general reactions of this death to the one of the guy trying to use paper to stop a bullet. No one seemed to find laughing over his death to be distasteful, while many in this thread seemed to think that blaming the dead man here was wrong.

I was trying to figure out when it is ok to laugh at someones death.

I see.

I must confess, the book shooting idiot raised a chuckle from me. Does that make me a bad person? Idiot ends up dead after being idiot is a funny thing - there was a whole website so successful it generated a book dedicated to idiots and their idiotic deaths.


The fellow in N Korea is less funny because he was less of an idiot - although committing any sort of crime while in a totalitarian state that's so poor and so sanctioned that it has nothing to lose does climb fairly high on the idiot scale. - This one is less funny because of the malicious human actors involved, I think.
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Old 6th July 2017, 11:32 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
The fellow in N Korea is less funny because he was less of an idiot - although committing any sort of crime while in a totalitarian state that's so poor and so sanctioned that it has nothing to lose does climb fairly high on the idiot scale. - This one is less funny because of the malicious human actors involved, I think.
What crime do you think he committed, and what is the evidence for this?
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Old 6th July 2017, 12:24 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
What crime do you think he committed, and what is the evidence for this?
The NK allegation is that he went to an off-limits part of his hotel and tore a propaganda poster off the wall. NK released a dark, blurry video of a tallish but unrecognizable person that they claim shows Warmbier. He apologized for his actions (certainly he could have been coerced) at his trial. Obviously the penalty for minor vandalism, at worst, was outrageous. But not many people are claiming that NK made the whole thing up. What would be their motive for creating a major international incident out of thin air?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ard-labor.html
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Old 6th July 2017, 12:33 PM   #222
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z answer

“I will now discuss the Z Society, and its encouragement of my crime.
The Z Society is the most secret organization at the UVA. All members and activities are strictly confidential. I first came to know of the Z Society in September 2013, when I first started at the university. I saw large Z crests painted on all the buildings of the compound. You can see them if you visit the University of Virginia… I was told that they’re from the Z Society, since the society donates millions of dollars to the university. The Z Society has around ten student members currently and after graduation they all go on to become very wealthy, with jobs in politics, business, and religion. Members of the Z Society include former US president Woodrow Wilson and a former head of the CIA. The stated objective of the Z Society is to spread freedom and eliminate tyranny. In order to become members, they must have good grades, and leadership, and most importantly, they must commit a brave act to help with the society’s stated objective. Once again, all members and activities are strictly confidential. It is, well, clear that the Z Society knew of my good grades and leadership. It is also clear that they knew that I would eagerly want to join the society in order to solve my family’s desperate financial problems. Because of this the Z Society expected me to commit a brave act to help eliminate tyranny. In order to prove my braveness to the Z Society I committed my crime in the DPR Korea with hopes of joining the Z Society. As you know from the Cold War era example, the CIA has always been leading anti-communism in every place in the world. There is no doubt that the CIA knows of the Z Society’s encouragement of my crime. Lastly, I want to clearly state that I was the political victim of the United States’ consistent hostile policy against the DPR Korea.”
link.

On the basis of this passage and others, I think we can dismiss the confession as pure nonsense. I agree that the video has little probative value. My best guess? What Politico implied but did not come right out and say.
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Old 6th July 2017, 12:56 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
.....
On the basis of this passage and others, I think we can dismiss the confession as pure nonsense. I agree that the video has little probative value. My best guess? What Politico implied but did not come right out and say.
So what do you think Politico is implying? That Warmbier got drunk and made trouble? That makes him look worse than if he just pulled a prank. That NK was mad at the tour operator? They could just have shut it down. You think he was framed for something he didn't do? Why?
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Old 6th July 2017, 01:29 PM   #224
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two possibilities come to mind

Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
So what do you think Politico is implying? That Warmbier got drunk and made trouble? That makes him look worse than if he just pulled a prank. That NK was mad at the tour operator? They could just have shut it down. You think he was framed for something he didn't do? Why?
I think that there are two possibilities and that either one is more reasonable than that Mr. Warmbier took down a banner. First, it was an inebriated Mr. Gratton who allegedly went running off and disappeared for several hours. BTW it was Mr. Gratton who indicated that he and Mr. Warbier did not get their customary wake-up call, making them late. Therefore, perhaps he was the intended target, and someone mistakenly grabbed Mr. Warmbier. Alternatively, the North Koreans might have grabbed Warmbier even knowing that it was Gratton who was alone for some period of time (one that coincided with the alleged taking down of the banner). Time quoted Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch: “When North Korea gets into a diplomatic dispute with the U.S. government, they like to grab any American they can find and use them as bargaining chips.”
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Old 6th July 2017, 02:09 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
What crime do you think he committed, and what is the evidence for this?
If I went to North Korea I would assume I could be arrested for doing nothing wrong at all, which is one reason I would never go.

Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
I think that there are two possibilities and that either one is more reasonable than that Mr. Warmbier took down a banner. First, it was an inebriated Mr. Gratton who allegedly went running off and disappeared for several hours. BTW it was Mr. Gratton who indicated that he and Mr. Warbier did not get their customary wake-up call, making them late. Therefore, perhaps he was the intended target, and someone mistakenly grabbed Mr. Warmbier. Alternatively, the North Koreans might have grabbed Warmbier even knowing that it was Gratton who was alone for some period of time (one that coincided with the alleged taking down of the banner). Time quoted Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch: “When North Korea gets into a diplomatic dispute with the U.S. government, they like to grab any American they can find and use them as bargaining chips.”

Sounds like North Korea to me. What they did was disgusting and wrong, but they did it and I would think that most people aren't that surprised.

To anyone who is shocked - surprise surprise - not all countries are as gung-ho for open borders and all that other crap as some here in the US are. People live in a bubble these days - look at the idiot Olympian who got in trouble in Brazil. Another arrogant American is all Warmbier was to NK.
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Old 10th July 2017, 04:04 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Sounds like North Korea to me.
Sure by why not grab all the americans on the tour, why choose him?
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:15 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Sure by why not grab all the americans on the tour, why choose him?
roll the dice, pick a reason.

I'm sure the real answer is somewhere close to why not?

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Old 10th July 2017, 07:18 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by TofuFighter View Post
I don't think the odds are relevant.
You'd have a hard time arguing that going to North Korea is not dangerous.
Certainly your mom wouldn't want you to go.
How dare you call his mom a coward!?
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:20 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I see.

I must confess, the book shooting idiot raised a chuckle from me. Does that make me a bad person?
It makes you a human. Laughing at such things is wired into us.

But not the NK incident. That doesn't trigger the funny bone.
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Old 10th July 2017, 09:06 AM   #230
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Originally Posted by Hungry81 View Post
roll the dice, pick a reason.

I'm sure the real answer is somewhere close to why not?

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And the answer might be he did act out.
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Old 10th July 2017, 11:59 AM   #231
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acting out or not

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
And the answer might be he did act out.
pondering turtle,

His confession, as implausible as it sounds at the outset, contains assertions that have been denied by people (associated with the Friendship church or the Z society) who would presumably know what they were talking about. In other words, his confession looks even more absurd the more one examines it. The video is nearly worthless, leaving one with no trustworthy evidence to back up North Korea's improbable claims. His crime wasn't acting out; it was overacting.
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Old 17th July 2017, 02:51 AM   #232
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How did the Z Society part of the story even get into Warmbier's confession?
Do you think it's more likely to be something that the North Korean's came up with? Or that it was part of Warmbier's explanation to them?

The latter seems more likely to me. Denials from a secret society are not surprising, neither would they be if the references to them in the confession are/were true. ""If members of the group are asked about their membership, they must leave the room rather than answer the question (or lie)"
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Old 17th July 2017, 07:26 PM   #233
Chris_Halkides
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Z nation

In comment #222, I quoted from his confession, which said that the Z society donates millions to the university. I find this quite doubtful. I think Mr. Warmbier might have wished to join the society and somehow it got worked into the narrative, although I don't know how.
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Old 21st July 2017, 04:06 PM   #234
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Travel ban

"State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement that the ban would be published next week in the Federal Register, to come into effect 30 days later.
US officials linked the move to the death of jailed American student Otto Warmbier." BBC

This is a good way to punish North Korea; I hope our allies follow suit. I put my thoughts down about his confession in a blog entry. I am going to speculate for a moment. I think Mr. Warmbier made his confession as ridiculous as he could get away with. From what I can gather, the Z society gets its jollies by shoveling snowy steps on campus. The idea of its donating millions of dollars to the university is ludicrous.
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Old 24th July 2017, 01:18 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
"State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement that the ban would be published next week in the Federal Register, to come into effect 30 days later.
US officials linked the move to the death of jailed American student Otto Warmbier." BBC

This is a good way to punish North Korea; I hope our allies follow suit. I put my thoughts down about his confession in a blog entry. I am going to speculate for a moment. I think Mr. Warmbier made his confession as ridiculous as he could get away with. From what I can gather, the Z society gets its jollies by shoveling snowy steps on campus. The idea of its donating millions of dollars to the university is ludicrous.
Whether they do or don't donate millions, or anything, to the university, I'm not seeing the relevance.

Certainly it seems Z Society likely does more than just get its jollies shoveling snow.
Quote:
The Z Society, founded in 1892, is believed to be the oldest remaining secret society at UVA. It is one of about 13 secret societies active on Grounds, recognizable by their anonymous good works, tradition-filled celebrations of Founder’s Day and other key moments in the life of the University – and by the many symbols painted on buildings across Grounds.
I do think your speculation that Warmbier included them in his confession in order to make it bizarre much less likely than his being in some way connected to them. Even getting a NK propaganda poster as a kind of hazing seems a much more likely explanation than what you're proposing.

You seem to want to find any possible way for Otto Warmbier to be completely blameless in this whole scenario. He might be. He might not.

Almost everyone here agrees that North Korea's treatment of him - that we know about, being his sentencing and incarceration - has been unfair by our standards. I think a lot of people are totally discounting the NK perspective.
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Old 24th July 2017, 06:04 AM   #236
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UVA to Z

Originally Posted by TofuFighter View Post
Whether they do or don't donate millions, or anything, to the university, I'm not seeing the relevance.

Certainly it seems Z Society likely does more than just get its jollies shoveling snow.


I do think your speculation that Warmbier included them in his confession in order to make it bizarre much less likely than his being in some way connected to them. Even getting a NK propaganda poster as a kind of hazing seems a much more likely explanation than what you're proposing.

You seem to want to find any possible way for Otto Warmbier to be completely blameless in this whole scenario. He might be. He might not.

Almost everyone here agrees that North Korea's treatment of him - that we know about, being his sentencing and incarceration - has been unfair by our standards. I think a lot of people are totally discounting the NK perspective.
TofuFighter,

The "millions of dollars to the university" in donations came out of Warmbier's confession. These is more example of its implausibility; can anyone produce evidence of millions of dollars flowing from the Z society to the University? I did not claim that the Z society only shoveled snow, but what exactly they do is understandably not easy to determine (thanks for the link; I had not seen that article before). I don't believe that I ever said that he couldn't have taken down the banner; only that there was no credible evidence that he did and that a different scenario seemed more likely to me. For me, it's too much of a coincidence that the British tourist went missing for several hours, a time period that roughly overlaps with the taking down (not taking) of the banner. YMMV. Also, if Warmbier really needed a banner for some kind of hazing ritual, why did he take down one that was too large for him to take with him?
EDT
It is entirely possible that someone who had been a member of the Z society as an undergraduate could make a hefty donation. IMO that is not the same thing as the society itself making such a donation.
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Old 24th July 2017, 10:19 AM   #237
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A Cavalier attitude on the part of the State Department?

Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
TofuFighter,

These is more example of its implausibility
Oops, bad editing on my part. It should read, "This is another example of its implausibility..."

I found a comment at at story about Mr. Warmbier's parents at The Cavalier Daily, that bears on confessions in NK: "If you read the candid account of North Korea detention by fellow Ohio detainee Jeffrey Fowle, then you don't need to ponder whether Otto was coerced into confessing by the North Korean government: A few weeks earlier, Mr. Jo had told Fowle that he might be allowed to speak with international media. It would be his first chance to tell the world about his situation, and to remind the U.S. government that he needed help. At noon, Mr. Jo led Fowle to a conference room on the other side of the guesthouse, reminding him of his talking points along the way.
“Emphasize your desperation for wanting to get home and that your family needs you back,” Mr. Jo said. “Put some emotion into it.” He suggested that it might be good if Fowle cried."

IIRC Mr. Warmbier did most or all of these things in his confession. In this article the family gave its account of its interactions with the State Department before Mr. Warmbier returned.
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